How to Cook a Turkey Recipe - Allrecipes.com
How to Cook a Turkey Recipe
2 Photos
How to Roast a Turkey
See a simple beginner-friendly method for roasting a moist, beautiful turkey. See more
  • READY IN ABOUT 4 hrs

How to Cook a Turkey

Recipe by  

"The biggest myth in all of American cookery is that a juicy, perfectly cooked turkey is difficult for the novice cook to achieve. Even if this is your first time, don't play scared, this will work! There is nothing to fear but the fear of dry turkey itself."

Back
Next
+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 whole turkey Change Servings
ADVERTISEMENT

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Place onion, celery, and carrot in a large, shallow roasting pan.
  3. Place turkey, breast side up, on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan. Pat the outside and inside of the turkey dry with paper towels.
  4. Combine salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Season the inside of the turkey with about 1/3 of the salt mixture. Fold wing tips under the bird.
  5. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat until the edges begin to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Cook and stir rosemary and sage for 1 minute.
  6. Place rosemary and sage inside the cavity of the turkey; reserve melted butter. Tie the legs together with twine.
  7. Brush outside of the turkey completely with the melted butter. Season with remaining 2/3 of the salt mixture.
  8. Bake turkey, uncovered, in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 3 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest in a warm area 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Kitchen-Friendly View
  • PREP 30 mins
  • COOK 3 hrs
  • READY IN 3 hrs 45 mins

Footnotes

  • Cook's Note:
  • Be sure you buy a meat thermometer before Thanksgiving; it will be the most important tool in the kitchen that day.
ADVERTISEMENT

Reviews More Reviews

Nov 21, 2012

Thank You, Thank you, thank you!!! This is an excellent recipe!! Simple, but simply perfection!! The bird is so moist, and no fuss with brining!!

 
Nov 27, 2012

Made a delayed Thanksgiving Dinner today....Absolutely the best Turkey Ever!! So moist and flavorful. Try this recipe and drain the juices and add chicken stock to make the gravy at the end. You will not be sorry.

 

11 Ratings

Jan 01, 2013

I recommend this recipe to anyone who wants an easy, delicious bird. This recipe turned out great for me... I followed it exactly.

 
Nov 23, 2012

This was my first year cooking a turkey from scratch. The recipe is flexible but the technique that he explains in the video made this year a complete 100% success! Thanks Chef John!

 
Nov 23, 2012

I followed the video presentation of this recipe, it is slightly different to the written one. I am from Australia,and I am visiting family over here. I cooked the turkey yesterday for Thanksgiving. It was so amazing, it turned out beautifully, I have never tasted something so juicy and flavor some. Thank you Chef John for sharing this recipe. Wendy from Australia

 
Nov 22, 2012

Awesome recipe. My first time cooking a turkey and it came out great, very moist and tasty.

 
Jun 29, 2014

Excellent! My new stand by

 
Jan 02, 2014

Great video! For those of us that have been cruising by while Mom made the Turkey each year and all of a sudden it's our turn and we haven't got a clue.

 

Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:
ADVERTISEMENT

Nutrition

  • Calories
  • 355 kcal
  • 18%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 1.5 g
  • < 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • 136 mg
  • 45%
  • Fat
  • 17.2 g
  • 26%
  • Fiber
  • 0.4 g
  • 1%
  • Protein
  • 45.5 g
  • 91%
  • Sodium
  • 604 mg
  • 24%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More

About the Cook

 
ADVERTISEMENT
Go Pro!

In Season

 Quick & Easy Grilling
Quick & Easy Grilling

Easy weeknight dinners, ready in a flash.

Fresh Summer Meals
Fresh Summer Meals

Enjoy the bright days of summer with easy recipes.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and helpful cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for just $7.99!

Related Videos

How to Cook a Turkey

See an easy, no-fail method to roast a juicy, golden-brown bird every time.

How to Roast a Turkey

See a simple beginner-friendly method for roasting a moist, beautiful turkey.

How to Prep and Roast Turkey

Watch a very simple method for prepping and roasting turkey.

Recently Viewed Recipes

 
ADVERTISEMENT
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States